Crossing For Cancer

Archive for November, 2008

The finish line…

Posted by crossingforcancer on November 6, 2008

Hi everyone – to pick up where I left off, for this final blog entry…

On our way to Galesburg, once again, we were tested by the nasty cold wind.  Lee went ahead of me in the form of a bullet so I could draft behind him on the heavy machine I was riding on.  I felt a wave of emotion as we cycled into town.    We arrived at Galesburg, home of the Dick Blick headquarters, with a welcome arrival from the Blick staff cheering me on as I rode into town.  John, a Senior Member of Blick met us at a hotel and took us to dinner along with Howard Metzenberg, two great folks.  We shared stories throughout dinner and then turned in for the night for some much needed rest.  I have to say that I don’t sleep much these days.  I can’t seem to make it past 3 a.m. as of late. 

The next day Blick arranged a walk to benefit PANCAN.  Lee and I walked 1.5 miles with 350 Blick employees.  What great supporters for the ride and PanCan!  I had the opportunity to speak to everyone at the park where the walk was held.  I couldn’t believe the support and feeling I felt from each person at Blick.   I sketched a portrait of Julie Butler who lost her husband to this dreadful disease.  After the walk and portrait sitting, we took a tour of the Dick Blick Headquarters.  Thank you so much to Julie and her family for making Lee and I dinner, what an amazing meal. 

The following day, we rode out of town with Howard Metzenberg and several Blick employees into a STRONG head wind.  THANK YOU BLICK for everything that you have done for me, the Crossing for Cancer and PanCan!

 

Howard and I on a tour of Blick

Howard and I on a tour of Blick

 

 

We approached the small town of Toulon, IL.   My brother and I decided to stay the night at an amazing vineyard.  We met up at Indian Creek where Fred and Connie showed us around town, such a great time!  I am now 75 miles away from my dad’s and on this night I couldn’t sleep….all I can hear is the wind blowing….hard, very hard.  I look around in a daze – as I have had many interviews and a lot to do lately.  It’s a much different feeling from being alone in the Mojave and the Rockies. I have been in deep thought about life and the change in me.  The ride has become very predictable now and the dangerous aspects of being alone are now gone.

I am 21 miles to the finish and I am having a hard time conceptualizing how I got here.  I am having a hard time emotionally knowing the ride is almost done.  I don’t know if I should be excited or sad.  I was fortunate to have my family and all the people I love meet me in my journey and can barely keep it together as I ride towards Marseilles, IL.  On the last night Lee and I stayed at my Uncle Ed’s in Peru, IL and had some amazing food, of course from my Aunt Betty.

Sitting 8 miles from my finish is not real to me.  I have been pedaling since August 13 and most nights I dream that I am pedaling; in fact, sometimes I wake up because my legs are moving.  I am honored and proud to be part of the world in a way that is so beautiful it is hard to compare it to anything else.  Humanity and love in the world is here.  You may need to sell your TV and stop watching the news to know this.  It may be the new “pill” for depression of other ailments.

 

Front page of The Times, Marseilles, IL

Front page of The Times, Marseilles, IL

It was exciting to finally approach Marseilles where many of the locals had heard about the Crossing via radio, word of mouth or front page of the newspaper.  I was greeted by my family and best friends Rob and Steve with the video camera in hand.  While cycling through the small suburb I slowed down to feel everyone cycling with me for the last day. 

 

 

I finally reached the corner just a half block from where my parent’s house lies.  I stopped, look down and can’t believe I am near the end.  Silently, I stare at the house.  The salt from my tears hit my mouth and it’s that familiar taste of feelings compiled into one powerful emotion that could bend steel or move a mountain…perhaps, the taste of life and death.

 

 

I coasted down the small road after 2,637 miles of pure bliss.   I had forgotten instantly the struggle I had been through and how my spirit was in the wild and in the wind.  I said my hellos, but even though I made it to my dad’s, I still needed to go just another mile to finish my expedition by climbing one last steep hill to the cemetery where I would stand at my mother’s resting place and smile with her in the silent world as the breeze wrapped around my face.  I planted the “Crossing for Cancer” flag that rode all this way from L.A. at sea level on my bike in the wind next to her.  I’ve reached the finish line of this journey.

 

Just like the last words my mom said to me… “catch ya later!”

Thank You…

Thank you to everyone that has been with me on this journey.  Thank you to my family for staying strong and believing in me from day one.  I know you were worried and I am thankful that you let me do this.  Thank you to my mom for always being at my side and giving me the strength I have always had throughout my life and this bicycle expedition.  To my friends I want to say thank you for the phone calls, text messages, emails and etc…your love kept me going. 

As for my sponsors:  Dick Blick, all I can say is WOW!  I absolutely cannot, to this day, believe how much you pulled off for me, from art supplies, to dinners, to organizing the walk with PanCan, thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Thank you to everyone at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Natalie and Brian for being a huge help and getting this project off the ground.  

Clif Bar, well, I am pretty burnt out on blueberry Clif Bars, but thank you so much for helping me to stay alive in the many times that I was so hungry, famished, shaky. 

To those of you that I met on the road that kept going and kept my spirits up when my legs felt like mush and my mind was crazy from the wind, thank you. Thank you to all of the newspapers and radio stations that covered the ride and got the awareness out there.  Thank you to all of you who donated to PanCan and me for the Crossing for Cancer, even if it was $1, it helped tremendously.  

Thank you to all of the families who brought me in like one of their own, fed me dinner, let me rest, told me stories, enlightened me, thank you.  Last, but not least I want to thank my publicist, Meghan Pochebit at Off Central Public Relations.  You have not only been an amazing publicist, but an amazing post master, secretary, psychotherapist, catering specialist, get-the-ball rolling tycoon, transcriptionist, internet specialist and FRIEND.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all of your support and help.  

I hope that I haven’t forgotten anyone, and if I did, please know you are on my mind.  It’s a whirlwind getting back into reality.  I look forward to seeing each of you at the closing reception on November 14 at the Northwestern Lurie Atrium.      -Scott

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